Economic supports for businesses

Access economic recovery and financial benefits for your business, industry, organization or community groups from the federal and provincial governments. This list is updated on an ongoing basis. 

Last updated: June 11, 2021

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B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service

The B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service provides information and support to business owners to help navigate challenges from COVID-19. 

Advisors are ready to help, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

Call 1-833-254-4357Email

COVID-19 Supports for Businesses Guide

The COVID-19 Supports for Businesses Guide is a comprehensive resource about government and private sector financial supports.

This guide is updated regularly to reflect new supports and information.

Download the guide (PDF)


Loans and grants

Loans, grants and flexible financing solutions are available to businesses affected by COVID-19.

Federal

The CEBA loan provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to eligible small businesses and not-for profits. Applicants who have received the previous $40,000 CEBA loan may apply for an additional $20,000 in financing. All applicants have until June 30, 2021 to apply for the $60,000 CEBA loan or the $20,000 expansion.

  • Includes a loan forgiveness amount of up to $20,000, if repaid on or before December 31, 2022

  • Eligibility allows for more small businesses to qualify, including sole-proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll

  • The extension allows more businesses to access the support they need as Canada’s economy continues to deal with localized public health restrictions, reduced opening hours, or reduced demand for services

  • CEBA is also available to businesses operating out of a non-business bank account

  • Contact your bank or credit union to learn more

  • If you applied for CEBA and have questions, check your application status online or contact the CEBA Call Centre at 1-888-324-4201


Eligibility

Small- and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profits

Review eligibility requirements and apply

Provides loans to businesses impacted by COVID-19 and are, in some cases, not eligible for federal funding programs.

  • Applications are assessed as they are received, with funding subject to availability.

  • Four loan options are available to qualifying businesses:

    • Businesses within the Community Futures network: Interest-free loans of up to $40,000, with up to $10,000 forgivable if repaid before December 31, 2022, to small- and medium- sized businesses and social enterprises in rural communities. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, social enterprises and similar organizations may qualify. Rural businesses requesting more than $40,000 should apply through Western Economic Diversification Canada

    • Businesses outside the Community Futures network: Interest-free loans of up to $60,000, with up to $20,000 forgivable if repaid before December 31, 2020. Sole proprietorships and not-for-profits are not eligible. Applicants who previously received RRRF funding must apply separately for the $20,000 expansion

    • Women-run businesses: Interest-free loans of up to $60,000, with up to $20,000 forgivable if repaid before December 31, 2020. Sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations are eligible. Applicants who previously received RRRF funding must apply separately for the $20,000 expansion

    • Funding requests over $40,000Interest-free loans of up to $1 million, with no scheduled monthly repayments required until after December 31, 2022


Eligibility

Businesses affected by COVID-19 and, in some cases, are not eligible for other federal supports such as the Canada Emergency Business Account

The HASCAP supports the hardest hit businesses, including those in sectors like tourism and hospitality, hotels, arts and entertainment.

  • Offers 100% government-guaranteed loans ranging from $25,000 to $1 million

  • Loans are low-interest and include terms of up to ten years

  • There is up to a 12-month postponement on principal repayments at the start of the loan

HASCAP is available at participating financial institutions until December 31, 2021.


Eligibility

Qualifying businesses

Learn more about the HASCAP

The Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) is available at various financial institutions and credit unions to support businesses in all sectors and regions to obtain financing.

BCAP has been extended until December 31, 2021.

For small- and medium-sized enterprises:

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is working with financial institutions to co-lend term loans to small and medium enterprises, for their operational cash flow requirements. The program offers differing maximum finance amounts based on business revenues. Eligibility has been extended to all legal businesses, including cannabis businesses and those in the hospitality sector operating bars and lounges.

Export Development Canada (EDC) is working with financial institutions to issue operating credit and cash flow term loans of up to $6.25 million to small- and medium-sized enterprises. Support is available to both exporting and non-exporting companies.

For mid-sized companies with larger financing needs:

BDC's Mid-Market Financing Program provides commercial loans ranging between $12.5 million and $60 million to medium-sized businesses whose credit needs exceed what is already available through the BCAP and other measures. 

EDC Mid-Market Financing Program guarantees 75% of new operating credit and cash-flow loans – ranging in size from $16.75 million to a maximum of $80 million to companies with revenues of between $50 million and $300 million. These expanded guarantees are available to exporters, international investors and businesses that sell their products or services within Canada. 


Eligibility

Small and medium sized enterprises 

See more details about the Business Credit Availability Program

Provides short-term liquidity help through interest-bearing term loans to large Canadian employers who have been affected by COVID-19. LEEFF continues to provide bridge financing to employers to help these enterprises to preserve their employment, operations and investment activities.


Eligibility

Large Canadian employers that

  • Have a significant impact on Canada’s economy, as demonstrated by having significant operations in Canada or supporting a significant workforce in Canada
  • Can generally demonstrate approximately $300 million or more in annual revenues
  • Require a minimum loan size of about $60 million

Review eligibility requirements and apply

The Strategic Innovation Fund spurs innovation by providing funding for large projects (over $10 million in requested contribution) through five streams.

  • Business Innovation and Growth (Streams 1-3): Funding helps support R&D and commercialization, the growth and expansion of firms and the attraction and retention of large scale investments in Canada
  • Collaboration and Networks (Streams 4-5): Funding helps support industrial research, development, and technology demonstration through collaboration between academia, non-profit organizations, and the private sector

Eligibility

Large business projects

Learn more about the Strategic Innovation Fund

Provincial


The Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant provides grants of $10,000 to $30,000 to support eligible B.C. businesses that employ between two and 149 B.C. residents, or sole proprietorships and partnerships with fixed costs related to tangible assets, and have experienced declines in revenue since March 2020.

  • An additional $5,000 to $15,000 grant is available to eligible tourism-related businesses
  • As of March 4, 2021, a business is required to demonstrate only a 30% revenue loss in any one month between March 2020 to the point of application
  • The program runs until July 2, 2021

Eligibility

Qualifying small and medium sized businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19

Learn more about the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant and other eligibility requirements

The Launch Online Grant program provides grants up to $7,500 to eligible B.C. businesses to create an online shop and/or improve their e-commerce experience to attract new local customers and expand to new markets.

  • The grant will pay for up to 75% of eligible expenses

  • Up to 30% of the grant funds are reserved for rural, Indigenous, Black and people of colour owned businesses

  • The funds must be used to hire B.C.-based companies to do the online store development

In response to a high number of applications, the B.C. government is investing an additional $30 million in the Launch Online Grant program.

Applications are open until September 30, 2021 or until the funds have been fully subscribed.


Eligibility

Small- and medium-sized business owners and entrepreneurs

Review eligibility requirements and apply

 


Bill relief

Service providers are offering businesses flexible payment plans and other supports:

  • BC Hydro is providing residential and commercial customers the option to arrange flexible payment plans
  • FortisBC is offering bill deferrals and interest free repayment schedules to impacted business clients
  • ICBC customers on a monthly Autoplan payment plan, who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19, can defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty

Wage and rent support

Programs are available to help employers avoid layoffs, rehire employees and temporarily reduce rent.

Federal

A wage subsidy is available to employers that are experiencing a decline in revenue.

  • This helps businesses keep and return workers to the payroll

  • The subsidy amount varies depending on the scale of revenue decline

  • A top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25% is available to employers most adversely affected by COVID-19


Eligibility

Businesses and non-profits

Apply online for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or call 1-833-966-2099 Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time) to speak with an agent.

Use the CEWS calculator to find out how much your wage subsidy may be.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) launched the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Registry to identify which employers are using the wage subsidy to support jobs.

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) provides a rent subsidy directly to qualifying organizations that have experienced a decline in revenue.

The CRA has made changes to the CERS online calculator regarding the calculation of lockdown support.

If a lockdown period is one week or longer, you may qualify for lockdown support even if the minimum lockdown period of one week overlaps two different claim periods.

If you used the CERS calculator on or before May 20, 2021, it may not have accurately calculated your lockdown support if your lockdown period overlapped two or more claim periods.

  • Organizations may make claims retroactively to September 27, 2020

  • Organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order, or have activities significantly restricted for a week or longer due to a related public health order, may be eligible for the Lockdown Support, which provides a top-up rent subsidy of 25%, in addition to the 65% subsidy


Eligibility

Businesses, charities and non-profits

Apply for the subsidy

The EI work sharing program provides EI benefits to workers who agree to reduce their normal working hour as a result of developments beyond the control of their employers

  • Eligibility of these agreements has been extended to 76 weeks, eligibility requirements have been eased, and the application process has been streamlined

Eligibility

Workers who agree to reduce their normal working hours because of developments beyond the control of their employers

Learn more about the Work-Sharing Program

 

Provincial


The B.C. Increased Employment Incentive offers a refundable tax credit for all private sector B.C. employers to encourage the creation of new jobs for B.C. workers or increased payroll for existing low or medium-income employees.

  • The tax credit is calculated at 15% of the amount that the employer's qualifying B.C. remuneration exceeds the employer's base B.C. remuneration

  • Remuneration increases over the last quarter of 2020 (October to December) are eligible

  • Applications are open


Eligibility

Private sector businesses

Review eligibility requirements and learn more

The BC Employer Training Grant offers employers 100% of eligible training costs, up to a maximum of $10,000 per participant per fiscal year, to support British Columbians that are employed or have been employed in sectors impacted by COVID-19.


Eligibility

BC employers

Review eligibility requirements and apply

 


Taxes

Some provincial taxes have been deferred, delayed or reduced:


Help with business operations and safety

Programs and resources to help manage your business operations and safety procedures through COVID-19.

Federal

Essential service organizations can apply for temporary, urgent access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies, including KN95 respirators, surgical masks, non-medical cloth and disposable masks, gowns, face shields, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and gloves.


Eligibility

Organizations identified as essential service providers as defined by Public Safety Canada

Visit the Public Services Procurement website for more information or to apply

 

Provincial


The BC Marketplace helps British Columbians support local small businesses. Businesses can reach new audiences by creating their own business profile for free.

The PPE Marketplace connects businesses with suppliers of non-medical safety equipment.  PPE suppliers interested in being listed as a vendor in the non-medical PPE Marketplace can submit a request to be part of the digital marketplace directory.

The Alacrity Digital Marketing Bootcamp provides digital marketing knowledge, tools and resources to help businesses grow.

  • Small to medium sized businesses based in and registered in BC that employ less than 149 B.C. residents and have been directly impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible to have their tuition covered

Registration is open.

 


Supports for business sectors and community groups

Federal

Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund 

The Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund has been reopened to support the industry in accessing new consumer markets in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $42.85 fund enables the Government of Canada and provincial and territorial partners to support industries’ priority projects and help people working in the fish and seafood sector by creating jobs and developing more opportunities for products.

Eligibility

In general, not-for-profit industry organizations operating on a national or sector-wide basis

Review fund details and apply


Loan deferrals and financing through Farm Credit Canada

Through an additional $5 billion received from the Federal government, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is offering loan payment deferrals and other financing products to the agriculture and food industry.

Support includes:

  • A deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans

or

  • A deferral of principal payments up to 12 months

Eligibility

Producers, agribusinesses and food processors

Review eligibility requirements

Contact your local office or call 1-888-332-3301 


Local food infrastructure fund, COVID-19 fund

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund aims to strengthen food support organizations and to help improve access to safe and nutritious food for Canadians at risk. 

Funding will support small and large community-led projects at facilities such as urban gardens, community kitchens, food banks and greenhouses.

Eligibility

  • Community or charitable organizations
  • Indigenous groups
  • Not-for-profit co-operatives

Apply to the Local Food Infrastructure Fund


Farm Credit Canada (FCC)

FCC is offering loan payment deferrals and other financing products.

Eligibility

FCC loan recipients


Provincial

B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program

Agriculture, seafood and food processing businesses in B.C. that have had their revenues decrease by at least 30% as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible for up to $5,000 in business planning services and coaching from a qualified business consultant for individuals, and up to $20,000 for groups, to develop an immediate and long-term recovery plan.

  • Applications will reopen in April 2021

Eligibility

Agriculture, seafood and food processing businesses

Learn more about the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program

 


Support for animal care facilities

Funding is available for animal hygiene, habitat upkeep, veterinarian care, limited transportation and repairs to equipment required to ensure the welfare of the animals in care.

Eligibility

B.C. shelters, animal refuges, aquariums and rehabilitation centres that lack the revenue to ensure animals in their care will not be in distress

To find out more about funding eligibility, email: BRMB.General.Inquiries@gov.bc.ca


Quarantine program for temporary foreign farmworkers

The B.C. government is funding hotel, food-service costs, laundry services, wellness walks, interpretation and translation services, health screening and other necessary supports for temporary foreign workers coming to B.C. for seasonal agriculture work during the mandatory fourteen day quarantine period.

 

Provincial

Expanded Forest Employment Program (FEP)

B.C. has expanded its existing Forest Employment Program (FEP) with an additional $12 million to support more workers and contractors in more communities, enabling them to complete 180 priority land-based projects.  

Eligibility

Forestry workers and contractors

Learn more about the Forest Employment Program

 

 

Rural, remote and Indigenous communities

Federal

Indigenous business initiative

Small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses may qualify for funding up to $60,000, including interest-free loans up to $40,000 and non-repayable contributions up to $20,000.

The funding provides short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis businesses.

Eligibility

Small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses

Learn more about financial supports for Indigenous businesses


Provincial

Community Futures BC

Business-related resources and supports for rural small businesses, including how to move businesses online.

Eligibility

Rural small businesses


Transportation support for inter-city bus services and regional airports

B.C. is providing one-time funding of up to $10.7 million for inter-city bus operators and up to $16.5 million for regional airports to support operations between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. This funding will allow British Columbians to have continued access to essential transportation, helping people travel safely, affordably and efficiently.

Eligibility

Inter-city bus operators and regional airports

Read more about B.C.’s support for inter-city bus operators and regional airports

 

 

Provincial

Tourism and hospitality industry workers supporting B.C. immunization efforts

This partnership employs more than 1,400 tourism and hospitality workers in mass vaccination clinics — creating hundreds of jobs for B.C.’s hard-hit tourism, hospitality and sport sectors.

Workers from these industries will provide their expertise and logistical support as non-clinical staff at immunization clinics to help move people through the clinics efficiently and safely. Many of these workers bring additional language skills as well.


Local tourism infrastructure investment

$53 million provincial investment through StrongerBC: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan to create jobs and grow economic development for tourism businesses. This includes:

  • Support for tourism-dependent municipalities to build, adapt and diversify their tourism infrastructure
  • Identifying projects to create jobs and attract new businesses
  • Developing local tourism experiences, infrastructure and services

Eligibility

Tourism businesses


British Columbia Tourism Resiliency Network

One-on-one support for tourism businesses to navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, adapt and work towards eventual recovery. The BC Tourism Resiliency Network is led by the Regional Tourism Secretariat. 

Register for the program to access one-on-one meetings with program advisorswebinars and other resources.

Eligibility

Tourism businesses

Register for the program


Tourism Relief Funding Stream

The Province has responded to three of the priority recommendations in the B.C. Tourism Task Force final report and has created a dedicated relief funding stream to support B.C.’s tourism sector.

The Province has allocated $100 million in relief funding for B.C.’s tourism sector.

In addition, the Province is also allocating $5 million to Indigenous Tourism BC to administer relief grant funding targeted for Indigenous businesses.

The $100-million dedicated relief funding for the tourism sector will be delivered through the existing Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program

Eligibility

Tourism sector businesses


Online COVID-19 Safety Certificate Program (BSAFE)

BSAFE is an online COVID-19 safety certificate program for workers in tourism and hospitality sectors.

The program will help increase consumer confidence as businesses start to return to more normal operations. B.C. organizations that participate will receive a decal to make it easy for visitors to identify that staff have taken BSAFE training.

This program is in accordance with BC’s Restart plan. The Province has allocated $640,000 to develop the program and provide the training.